Sweden: Arabic Names a Hinder in Swedish Banks

Swedish bank Skandiabanken has been reported to the Swedish Ombudsman against ethnic discrimination for discriminating against Arabic sounding names. Bank customer Ahmad Waizy made the report after trying to complete an international payment transaction on Skandiabanken’s website, but was unable to complete the payment due to the bank’s rejection of his first name. After Waizy telephoned the bank, he was told that the online payment system has a bad against names that appear to be of Muslim origin. The Ombudsman has asked Skandiabanken to justify its policy, but a bank’s spokesperson said that the bank was only following the European Union’s sanctions list, meaning that common Arabic names such as Ahmad, Hussein, and Mohammed are affected.